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Christians, Please Pray For Your Pastor

I remembered browsing a few of the self-proclaimed Catholic apologist posts and found an interesting note that they are requesting people to pray for their priests. This has struck me that if unsaved people can pray for their religious leaders not to fail then why are there times Christians fail to pray for their pastor?

God promised in Jeremiah 3:15 that He will provide pastors (or shepherds) that will feed the people with understanding. In the New Testament, the office of the Old Testament priesthood is over and the office of pastoring is open. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:" What a tremendous responsibility it is to be a pastor!

This brings me back to the time when Jesus and Peter had a rather close relationship. Matthew 16:16-18 mentions the incident where Peter is told that while he is a rock - but upon that Rock the Church will be built. Yet, Peter had shown signs of one terrible truth about pastors - they are just as human as they are. Peter thought he was doing Jesus a favor but instead he was called Satan for being a stumbling block (Matthew 16:23). Later, we read that Peter denied Jesus thrice, Luke 22:31 has Jesus telling Peter this, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that hey may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

God's pastor is not superhuman but a sinner saved by grace. He doesn't possess any so-called ability or delegation to forgive sins or turn the bread and wine into Jesus' flesh and blood in terms of substance. He doesn't have the ability to save anyone's souls but only to preach the Gospel. The fact that he has a mission to preach the Gospel means he's going to be in Satan's hit list. Peter was too scared on the night of Jesus' arrest that he ended up denying him three times. Later, the disciples went for a fishing trip and nearly abandoned the mission. Instead of praying for Peter, they all joined him for the fishing trip. Can you imagine what happens when the pastor backslides? If Peter who had the privilege to heal the sick and raise the dead can backslide then how much more the pastors who succeed in his work who don't have that kind of power?

John 21:15-18 has Jesus talking with Peter. Jesus asked Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?" Peter backslid and had to be restored. The problem is that when the pastor backslides the deacons will follow. Peter who should have been getting ready to become a pastor but went back to his profession as a fisherman. Peter's wife who should have been a pastor's wife went back to becoming a fisherman's wife. Jesus had to remind Peter of the tremendous responsibility of feeding the sheep.

The pastor's job is never easy as Satan hates the righteous saints who were once lost sinners. The more faithful a pastor is the more Satan and his minions would want to harm that person. 2 Timothy 3:12 says that all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Peter's life was anything but glamorous. No worldwide audience bowing down to him. No respect or love from the worldly people. No kings and queens bowing down before him. He got arrested, he got tortured and he would later get martyred.

This also reminds us that we need to correct our pastors too when they commit error especially if the pastor has backslid and done something he normally wouldn't do. Acts 15 reads the encounter where Peter fell into grievous error. Such error should be politely rebuked. Paul had to straighten up Peter because leading a local New Testament church is such a heavy responsibility (Galatians 2:8-14). Pastors aren't perfect. They have the ministry to help lead souls to Jesus and it's in their tremendous responsibility to help sanctify the saved and lead the unsaved to the truth of how to be saved. This is especially true when a pastor falls into such sin such as having an affair during his midlife crisis or when a pastor is under severe temptation.

This is the call to please pray for your pastor. They have the tremendous responsibility for God. They are tasked to feed understanding and to do the work of the ministry. They need your prayers. Their prayers alone aren't enough. God wants a prayer in unity and not just the pastor praying for guidance. This is the call of being united in Christ.

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